Field Tested: Pasquale's is a shoe-in to fix men's kicks
If a holiday season filled with kicking up your heels has left your favorite footwear scuffed, worn down, scratched or splotched with holiday punch, make a New Year's resolution to start off on the right feet and take them in to the shop.
In a decade-and-a-half of living in Los Angeles, I've dropped off and picked up plenty of shoe repair orders for my bride (whose collection of fashionable footwear makes Imelda Marcos seem tame in comparison) but I'd never taken a pair of my own shoes to a cobbler until my favorite pair of black Salvatore Ferragamo lace-up lug sole dress shoes were worn down at the heel and the left one suffered a nasty (and very noticeable) scratch across the toe.
I went to the place my podiatrist recommended -- Pasquale's Shoe Repair on San Vicente Boulevard. The place is hardly a secret -- the Los Angeles Times has mentioned the talents of Pasquale Fabrizio and his team on many occasions (most recently in a February 2009 article by my compatriot Melissa Magsaysay) but when the recommendation comes from your medical professional -- who takes his own shoes there when in need of rehabilitation, it carries a little more weight. (Dr. Gurnick is a particularly well-shod fellow, which is something to appreciate in one's foot doctor).
About a week after dropping them off, I had a pair of shoes with sturdy new Goodyear heels, a repaired toe that made the offending scratch all but invisible from more than 2 inches away (and let's face it, if someone is within 2 inches of the toe of your dress shoe, are you really going to be worried about impressing them?) and a deep, lustrous shine -- all for the princely sum of $29.99.
Slipping them back on after a week in the shop (OK, I admit, and the three months they sat ignored in the trunk of my car before I got around to darkening the doorstep at Pasquale's) it was like I'd gotten a brand new pair of shoes that were as comfortable as ones I've had for years.
My only regret was that I hadn't done it earlier.
So guys, if you've got a favorite pair in need of repair, don't drag your feet -- they'll end up thanking you for it.
Pasquale Shoe Repair, 5616 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, is open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday-Monday.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: A 2009 file photo of Pasquale Fabrizio, owner of Pasquale shoe repair on San Vicente Boulevard in Los Angeles, shown with some footwear in need of fixing. Credit: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times.